For residents of North Carolina who are considering the purchase of a life insurance policy, we have assembled useful information regarding your rights as a policy owner. We wouldn’t expect you to parse through long legal documents, so we have highlighted the most pertinent information for you that is sure to come in handy. After learning about NC’s life insurance rules and regulations, continue reading to see the best life insurance companies in the state.
North Carolina Life Insurance Rules and Regulations
Life insurance in North Carolina is regulated under chapter 58 of the state statutes. Chapter 58 explains your rights as a policyholder, the extent that insurance companies are liable for claims, and standard business practices for all life insurance companies to follow.
North Carolina residents are entitled to a 10 day period where they may return the policy after it has been received for a full refund. This period of time is known as a free look, and the length of time may vary from state to state, and it may even vary depending on your insurance policy. The purpose of the free look is to provide policyholders with enough time to read over their life insurance contracts carefully and consider if the insurance is exactly as they expected it to be.
The grace period in North Carolina is a minimum of 30 days. Some companies may provide 31 or even more days, but all must provide 30. The grace period begins when a missed premium payment is due. During the grace period, the insurance policy can not lapse, and the insured person is fully covered in case of death. The payer (usually the owner) of the policy has the full grace period length of time to make up for the missed premium payment, and restore the policy to good standing with the insurance company. The grace period prevents a policy from lapsing when payments are slightly late, which helps to prevent the need for new underwriting for the insured (which they might need for a new policy, or to reinstate a lapsed policy).
Guarantee Of Payments and Cash Surrender Value
The state of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association, guarantees that if an insurance provider goes bankrupt or is otherwise unable to make payments, the death payments will be guaranteed up to $300,000 per person. They will also guarantee cash surrender value up to the amount of $100,000 per person. These limits are placed regardless of how large a policy may be, or how many policies are outstanding. While the maximum guarantees are not enormous, they do provide peace of mind to owners and beneficiaries of life insurance. Because payouts may be slow from the guarantee funds, and because the limits for coverage are low, we at Life Ant always recommend that you only purchase life insurance from financially sound companies.
North Carolina Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association Can Be Reached At:
PO Box 10218
Raleigh, NC 27605-0218
Timely Payment of Claims
If a death claim in North Carolina is not paid within 30 days, the claim begins to accrue interest owed to the beneficiaries. North Carolina has this rule in place to encourage claims to be paid quickly, and it works. Most claims in North Carolina are settled within about a month.
Readability Of Insurance Policy
North Carolina does not believe that residents should be tricked by confusing financial jargon, so they require that all policies be readable. This means that the word choice must be widely understood by all, and stated plainly.
North Carolina Department of Insurance
The 10 Best Life Insurance Companies in North Carolina
Offering life insurance policies, annuities, securities, and estate planning, Lincoln Financial has been around since 1905. Its term life insurance policies are very affordable and flexible. The term life policies are TermAccel and LifeElements. TermAccel is easier to apply for and obtain. There is no medical exam required unless you are a tobacco smoker. People who are 18 to 60 years-old could qualify for this competitively priced coverage. The term limits are 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Lincoln also provides various universal life insurance. These policies are harder to obtain and are more expensive. Lincoln Financial’s term life insurance makes it one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies.
Prudential has been in business since 1873 and offers a variety of life insurance policies. It was the first company to cover people with HIV. As one of the largest life insurance providers, Prudential knows how to serve its customers and offers customizable options for policies. Prudential’s SimplyTerm policy is a term life policy sold online and approved within a few days. No medical exam is needed for some applicants, and you can get up to $500,000 coverage in 10, 20, or 30-year limits. This term insurance is one reason Prudential is one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies.
New York Life
If you are looking for flexibility, New York Life will have you covered. New York Life offers flexible and comprehensive insurance policies. It has superb customer service and strong financial strength. Found 175 years ago, New York Life’s term life insurance policies have shorter than average terms. You can customize your policy for any term amount between 10 and 20 years. You can also renew your policy every year with no penalties. This flexibility makes New York Life one of North Carolina’s best life insurance policies.
Although Transamerica was founded in 1904, it didn’t dive into life insurance until 1930 with the acquisition of Occidental Life Insurance Company. This company is financially strong and has a few customer complaints. You can get a free quote online as well as purchase term life insurance coverage online. Transamerica’s online resources make it one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies. Besides quotes and the ability to purchase a new policy, the website features educational materials to help customers learn about life insurance and make sure they are buying the coverage they need. Life insurance is not the only product offered by Transamerica. It also provides dental, long-term care, and annuities.
Pacific Life is one of North Carolina’s companies because they are a top seller of indexed universal life insurance. This permanent policy lets policyholders decide how much cash value to assign to a fixed account or an equity-indexed account. These types of policies often cost more than a term life policy. Pacific Life does offer two types of term life insurance coverage. Terms for term life include 10,15, 20, 25, and 30 years. The policy can be renewed each year, and the price will increase annually.
Providing multiple products, State Farm’s life insurance offers affordable premiums for individuals with no pre-existing conditions. State Farm provides a broad range of term life, whole life, and universal life products. There are no medical exams needed for some policies, and a variety of riders are offered for policyholders to choose from. Founded in 1922, State Farm is new to the life insurance market, but they have concrete financial strength. State Farm’s excellent customer satisfaction ratings are one reason it is one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies.
John Hancock’s term life insurance coverage makes it one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies. Part of the term life insurance coverage is an accelerated benefit. This is included at no additional cost and provides a living benefit if the insured gets terminally ill with less than one-year life expectancy. 50% of the death benefit can be paid out before the insured dies. Another feature of John Hancock’s term life is the convertibility. You can convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy in the first four years of the policy. After the fourth year, you can convert to a product that is designed for conversion.
Another large life insurance company, AIG, makes shopping for life insurance easy. It is a highly-rated company that offers affordable life insurance rates. AIG has a selection of term life policies that do not require medical exams. These customizable policies allow you to vary the term limits. AIG’s Quality of Life Flex policy will enable a customer to receive term life coverage up to 70. The minimum death benefit is $100,000, and the policy expires at 95 years old. You can convert it to a permanent plan if you wish. AIG also provides whole life insurance policies such as a traditional policy, a universal life policy, and a variable life policy.
J.D. Power’s Life Insurance Survey ranks Nationwide very high for customer satisfaction. It is a small mutual company out of Ohio. As a Fortune 100 company, Nationwide provides life insurance coverage for almost all 50 states. It offers term, whole, universal, and variable life insurance. Nationwide’s term insurance is a level term product. This means the premiums will stay the same throughout the length of the policy. This level term product and Nationwide’s customer satisfaction is one reason it is one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies.
Principal Life Insurance Company
Principal Life’s focus on superior customer service makes it one of North Carolina’s best life insurance companies. With high satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power’s survey, Principal Life receives fewer complaints than other comparable insurance companies. It provides a wide range of products, including term, indexed universal, and variable universal life insurance coverage. Customers can receive a quote online for term life insurance as well as permanent life insurance. Term life is offered in 10, 15, 20, and 30 years coverage with the option to convert to permanent life insurance. Principal Financial’s permanent life insurance gives the flexibility to adjust premiums and death benefits.